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that congress is facing a hard deadline while at the same time, blaming each other for not having a deal in place by now. president obama cut short his holiday vacation and returned to the white house to work on a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff." before flying home from hawaii, the president called congressional leaders nancy pelosi, john boehner, mitch mcconnell and harry reid to reach agreements before tax hikes and spending cuts kick in january 1. >> we have been asking the president and the democrats to work with us on a bipartisan agreement for months. >> i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> reporter: the senate majority leader wants house republicans to return from their vacations to approve a democratic senate plan that extends tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year. >> that's the only option that is viable escape route. >> reporter: but republican leaders say it's up to democrats who control the senate and white house to avert the "fiscal cliff." >> republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because
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